International Students' Day Date in the current year: November 17, 2016

International Students' Day International Students' Day is observed on November 17 every year. The first celebration was held in 1941 in London by the International Students' Council. For years, numerous students groups have been lobbying to make the day an official UN observance, but they have not succeeded yet.

Originally International Students' Day was established to commemorate the killing of Czech students during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. On October 28, 1939, students held a series anti-Nazi demonstrations in Prague. Jan Opletal, a student of the Charles Universally, was fatally wounded by Nazi forces and died on November 11.

Opletal's funeral on November 15 turned into a mass anti-Nazi demonstration. As a result, the Nazi authorities closed all Czech universities and colleges. On November 17, the Nazis raided higher education institutions, executing nine students and professors and sending over 1,200 students to concentration camps.

In 1941, November 17 was marked as International Students' Day for the first time. It started as an international observance of student political activism, but a number of universities and student organizations now mark it as a non-political celebration of the diversity and multiculturalism of international students.

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International Students' Day, international observance, international holiday, Jan Opletal, International Students' Council